I have never really been one for rituals. As a matter of fact, I have argued against them, believing that they can trigger writers block. After all, if you feel you can only write when facing east and wearing your lucky socks, what happens when one sock gets eaten up in the dryer? But I am not learning the difference between ritual and superstition.
Sometimes people ask me about my “process” but what they really are looking for is ritual. I see process as something that happens on the page, but ritual is a serious of steps I take to prepare myself for writing. Unlike superstition, which sort of implies that certain random details will cast a protective spell, a ritual is something that it performed with intent and purpose. It is can be spiritual, but not exactly magical.
I have been having a hard time with my writing over the last few months. I was showing up, but the muse didn’t join me. I tried to tell myself it was a job and only fools wait for inspiration. So I just sat down and put some words on the page. But it wasn’t the writing that I needed and it wasn’t bringing me any pleasure. So I stopped showing up and the days and weeks ticked by. My deadline passed. I wasn’t sure what to do.
But all that has changed and I really think it’s because I have added ritual and meaning to my writing process. it’s complicated so I don’t want to overwhelm with one post. For the next couple weeks, I will share one aspect of my writing rituals and explain why it has been helpful for me.
The thing to keep in mind as you read is that my rituals may not work for you, but they might! Also, I hope that talking about my ritual may inspire you to devise rituals of your own. Because it’s summer and my schedule is flexible, my rituals are kind of elaborate and time consuming, but I will have to figure out how to streamline them when school starts. The trick is to figure out what works for you and you life.
My new deadline for a tight draft of my new novel is Labor Day and I really believe that I can make it. For the first time I feel confident and in-the-zone. And it’s all because of the rituals. So watch this space. I’ll start posting the on Monday.